Freedom, enshrined in the constitution of India and safety for India's women from sexual assault at home or outside. The brutal gang-rape and eventual death of a 23-year-old girl on her way from a movie in the evening on Sunday evening in December triggered an awakening that took many by surprise. Perhaps the simplest explanation… Continue reading The Anatomy of a Protest
In Chhattisgarh’s Sukma town, a brand new 100-bed hospital stands as a proof of the healthcare crisis in conflict-ridden Bastar region. The new building was made operational two months ago, but marred by acute shortage of doctors, even the most basic facilities are unavailable. The hospital has one X-ray machine but no radiologist. There’s no CT Scan,… Continue reading New Hospitals and equipment, but no doctors.
I am still reeling from the implausibly stunning fact of a baby slipping out of a womb into a dustbin. Finding the words to write this was not easy. But it is important for Soni Baghel’s story to be public, so that the Maharani College in Jagdalpur- in whose care almost all of Bastar’s tribals… Continue reading Doctors Chat on Phone, Baby Falls From Delivery Table into Dustbin.
The feedback to this is overwhelming. I suppose even those who look only through a security prism can’t ignore the absolute depravity of this violence.
“Without emotion, as though she were talking about the weather, Manju (name changed) tells us how she and six other women in her village (Kunna in Bastar’s Sukma district) were subjected to “inspection” by a police party that came through their hamlet chasing a group of Naxals. Fearing harassment, torture, arrest or death, each time forces approach, boys and men flee into the forests, leaving women to face the brunt of the search. While they all pointedly say they were not raped, their stories of physical abuse are horrific.”
I returned from Bastar, In Chhatisgarh from an assignment to report on issues women face in conflict zones related to their health and safety. While healthcare is as abject in its villages as in many parts of rural India, the over riding narrative in Bastar for women is of sexual violence- used as a weapon of war. While activists and lawyers try to…
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"Without emotion, as though she were talking about the weather, Manju (name changed) tells us how she and six other women in her village (Kunna in Bastar’s Sukma district) were subjected to “inspection” by a police party that came through their hamlet chasing a group of Naxals. Fearing harassment, torture, arrest or death, each time forces approach,… Continue reading How Breastfeeding Women Are Abused In Bastar – And Other Horror Stories
In a week when five gay Indians went to the Supreme Court seeking protection of their fundamental right to personal safety and liberty under the constitution, making the case that Section 377 violated them, they were referred to the Chief Justice of India to decide the validity of the petition. India has decided to once… Continue reading Should India Have Voted For LGBT Rights At UN?
The change in Iran's capital, Tehran between my last visit in August 2012, and this May seemed dramatic in many ways. In a post sanctions world, the economy needs help, but Iran’s people are hungry for the comforts of our times—fast cars, fine foods, designer clothes and travel. Read here